Leeds legend’s shirt from fiery clash known for ‘greatest fight in English football’ up for auction

A shirt believed to have been worn by a Leeds United legend during the game which witnessed ‘the greatest fight in English football’ is up for auction.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 6:00 am
PIC: Hansons

And Trevor Cherry's yellow jersey from the clash against Derby County in November 1975 could spark a battle of its own when goes under the hammer later this month.

Cherry scored during the five goal thriller at the Baseball Ground which Derby County edged 3-2.

But the result, and the goals, have paled into insignificance compared to a feisty punch up between Whites legend Norman Hunter and Rams legend Franny Lee .

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Trevor Cherry remembered - Memories of a Leeds United legend

Their fight is remembered to this day despite happening 46 years ago.

And you don’t have to be a 1970s Derby or Leeds fans to know about it. Such was the boxing-match style action, people all over the world have watched it - and still do. The fight has racked up more than 500,000 views on YouTube.

Thanks to its football provenance, the Trevor Cherry shirt could soar past its £700 to £1,000 estimate at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire on Tuesday, August 24.

David Wilson Turner with the shirt. PIC: Hansons

And though it’s likely to be snapped up by a Leeds fan they will owe its discovery to a Rams fanatic who found it during a summer clear-out. It belongs to lifelong Derby County fan Notty Hornblower. She is owner of Hope House Costume Museum in Alstonefield and Hansons’ vintage clothing consultant.

She said: “I’d forgotten all about it. I found it by chance in July when I was clearing out a haberdashery cabinet. It had been there for donkey’s years. I’ve been following Derby County since 1968. Back in the 70s, I knew all the players, wrote a ladies’ column in the Ram, the club’s matchday programme, and ran Belper Junior Rams.

“I won the shirt in a raffle at a sports club event in the 70s, possibly a DCFC supporters’ club night. I remember being told it belonged to Trevor Cherry and had come from that famous game in 1975. Perhaps he left it behind at the Baseball Ground because he was furious about losing the game.”

David Wilson Turner, head of sports memorabilia at Hansons, said: “Sadly, we can’t check with Trevor because he passed away in 2020 at the age of 72. But football memories live on and Cherry along with the famous Lee and Hunter fisticuffs will never be forgotten.

Notty Hornblower. PIC: Hansons

"The shirt is sure to be popular with Leeds fans because Cherry was a club legend. He captained the team and played for them for 10 years from 1972.”

Cherry made 486 appearances for the Whites, wearing the captain's armband, scoring 32 goals and winning a First Division title along with a place in club folklore alongside his fellow Revie boys. He was also capped 27 times by England.

He developed a formidable defensive partnership with Norman Hunter, known as ‘Bites Yer Legs’ Hunter. The nickname originated from a banner held up by Leeds fans at the 1972 FA Cup Final against Arsenal.

David added: "“They started sparring in the first half and it ended up with a massive punch up after Lee and Hunter were sent off. Though a brilliant striker, Lee was known for theatrical dives. He holds the English record for the greatest number of penalties scored in a season, a feat which earned him the nickname Lee Won Pen. Consequently, Leeds were outraged when he won a penalty. In the second half, Hunter clattered Lee with a late tackle. Lee retaliated and Hunter swung back with a right hook cutting Lee’s lip."

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